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Battle of the Big Cats highlights Week 4 action

Friday, September 7, 2012

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The Tigers must contain the Columba offense just like they did in this play versus Coffee County if they want to take down their rival Lions at Jim Cartwright Field Friday night in Columbia. Photo by Anthony S. Puca
A storied rivalry will continue in the Battle of the Big Cats when the Marshall County Tigers (1-1) and Columbia Central Lions (2-1) meet at Jim Cartwright Field in Columbia Friday night.

Since 1973, the two squads have met a dozen times with Columbia Central holding a 7-5 advantage, including the last three in a row.

Central is a two-time state champion, winning the title in 1952 and most recently in 2010, while the Tigers have not hoisted the hardware since their undefeated season in 1984.

MCHS has a 237-132 record since 1973, while the Lions hold a 207-205 mark during the same time frame.

Both squads are in transition this year and while the game has no real bearing for the post-season, the close proximity of the two schools has bred a real on-the-field dislike in the county line rivalry.

The Tigers are coming off a disappointing 28-23 league loss to Hickman County last week in Lewisburg, while Columbia staved off District 8-AAA opponent Tullahoma 19-17 at home.

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Cornersville defenders Cody Blackburn, Josh Singleton, and Tyler Lowery swarm to the ball versus Moore County. Photo by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber
Hickman County jumped on MCHS 22-3 before the Tigers mounted a comeback that fell just short and the Lions led Tullahoma 19-3 with eight minutes to go before white-knuckling the train break in the three-point win.

Both teams need the win as the Lions leave for a three-game road trip after the contest and the Tigers would love to rebound and get win No. 2 before a trip to AP top-ranked Giles County next week.

It will be a packed house in Columbia and the fans will get their money's worth as the two evenly matched squads will certainly give a spirited performance with the Tigers breaking the three-game skid versus the Lions in a 30-27 win.

Cornersville turned in a stellar effort last week, bouncing back from an opening season defeat to Moore County with 38-20 pasting at Perry County for their first win of the season and the Bulldogs will be on a high when they host winless Huntland (0-3) Friday night in Frog Bottom in the first of two consecutive home games.

The Dawgs have to be licking their chops for this one as the Hornets have allowed a whopping 107 points in their two losses to Watertown and Columbia Academy, while scoring just 17 points on the offensive side of the ball.

For the first time in several years, the Bulldogs are a healthy team and sport a potent offensive attack and a solid defense.

The only thing that can stop the Bulldogs in this one is if they look ahead to next week's all-important battle with seventh-ranked Mt. Pleasant, but longtime head coach Ray Stocstill will not let his squad lose focus as Huntland's woes will continue in a big way as the Dawgs take a big bite out of the Hornets, 41-10.

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The Rocket defense was stout last week versus Community and they will need to come up big once again at White House-Heritage Friday night if Forrest wants to get win No. 3 on the season. Photo by chapelhillbill.com
The Forrest Rockets (2-1), coming off a big 35-14 home opening win over Community last week are on the road again, travelling northbound to take on a tough White House-Heritage (1-2) squad in the Patriots' home opener.

The Patriots have lost two in row since an opening season 20-14 win over Davidson Academy, but both setbacks have come against a pair of good teams in sixth ranked Friendship Christian 49-27 and 26-14 to an undefeated Houston County squad that is just outside of the AP Top 10.

Forrest and White House-Heritage have met seven consecutive years since 2005 with the Rockets holding 5-2 mark over the Robertson County squad, but only one of the games has been decided by more than two touchdowns in the series.

Forrest fixed their turnover woes versus Community last week and the Rocket defense was strong, especially in the second half, shutting out the Vikings.

The Rockets would love to move to 3-1 before a bye week next Friday and this one will go the distance and more with Forrest winning 36-30 in overtime.